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The Pennsylvania State Capitol

thepennsylvaniacapitol.jpgThe Pennsylvania State Capitol was designed by architect Joseph Huston, in a beaux arts style with renaisance themes in 1902, and was dedicated on October 4, 1906.  As a public building it belongs to the citizens of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. In addition to serving as the state capitiol, it is also an artistic treasure, featuring the work of many of the finest artisans living at the turn of the 20th century.

President Theodore Roosevelt described the Pennsylvania State Capitol as "the handsomest building I ever saw" when he attended its dedication.  Built at a cost of $13 million, which would amount to about $336 million today.  It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on September 14, 1977, and declared a National Historic Landmark, on September 20, 2006. Standing 520 feet high, it stood as the tallest building between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh for 80 years.  

thepennsylvaniacapitolladycommonwealth.jpgThe centerpiece of the Pennsylvania State Capitol building is the 52 million pound dome which was architecturally inspired by St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.  Siting a top the dome is the gilded brass statue of Commonwealth, standing 14 and 1/2 feet on top of a 4 foot diameter ball.

The Pennsylvania State Capitol contains the chambers for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, the Pennsylvania Senate, and the the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. The bronze entrance doors of the capitol lead into the rotunda on the first floor with the grand staircase in the center. The staircase in the rotunda is an imperial staircase, similar to the one in the Palais Garnier in ParisFrance. The staircase leads to the mezzanine between the first and second floors, before dividing into two staircases leading to the second floor.

imperialstaircase.jpgThe Capitol Preservation Committee is entrusted with preserving the Pennsylvania State Capitol.  The committee was created in 1982 by the Pennsylvania General Assembly, for the purpose of implementing and directing programs to conserve and restore the Pennsylvania State Capitol and its contents.

Though a state budget line item funds restoration projects and operating expenses, a Capitol Restoration Trust Fund was established in order to fund special projects like furniture and art acquisitions.  The trust fund is replenished through private donations and the sales of commemorative items.  

To make a donation, feel free to mail check or money order to the address below made payable to "Capitol Restoration Trust Fund"

PA Capitol Preservation Committee
Attn: Controller
Room 630 Main Capitol Building
Harrisburg, PA 17120

Donors who contribute $25 or more to the Capitol Restoration Trust Fund will receive a commemorative print of architect Joseph Huston's 1901 Capitol Competition design submission.

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